Newly-promoted Nottingham Forest are eyeing up a summer move for versatile Arsenal man Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and have made him a top transfer priority this summer, according to The Mirror.
The 24-year-old, who has five full England caps to his name, has fallen out of favour at the Gunners in recent times under Mikel Arteta’s management, and spent the second half of the 2021-22 season on loan at Italian giants A.S. Roma.
Having made just eight Serie A appearances for Jose Mourinho though, Maitland-Niles will return to the Emirates Stadium this summer with just one year remaining on his deal, and Forest are keen to swoop for his services.
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Maitland-Niles has played in a number of different positions in the last few years, including at both wing-back positions, however he is naturally a central midfielder and could be a potential replacement for James Garner, whose loan deal from Manchester United has ended.
Forest’s recruitment team are reported to have made contact with Arsenal this past week in regards to Maitland-Niles’ availability, with a deal potentially in the works as they look to bolster their squad following promotion from the Championship.
Maitland-Niles would be a fantastic addition to Forest’s squad this summer and is more in-line with the expected recruitment model.
At 24 years old, he still has time to improve and considering he is a full England international, the quality is there for all to see.
He just needs a fresh start away from Arsenal, and whether that is in the engine room or as a right wing-back to replace Djed Spence, Maitland-Niles definitely has a role to play in a Forest team in the Premier League.
Other top flight teams may join the race for Maitland-Niles if Forest don’t move quick though, so Steve Cooper and co may have to get their skates on.